Volcanism Studies: Final Report for the Yucca Mountain Project

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This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. An assessment of the risk of future volcanic activity is one of many site characterization studies that must be completed to evaluate the Yucca Mountain site for potential long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste. The presence of several basaltic volcanic centers in the Yucca Mountain region of Pliocene and Quaternary age indicates that there is a finite risk of a future volcanic event occurring during the 10,000-year isolation period of ... continued below

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554 pages

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Crowe, Bruce M.; Perry, Frank V.; Valentine, Greg A. & Bowker, Lynn M. December 1, 1998.

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Description

This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. An assessment of the risk of future volcanic activity is one of many site characterization studies that must be completed to evaluate the Yucca Mountain site for potential long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste. The presence of several basaltic volcanic centers in the Yucca Mountain region of Pliocene and Quaternary age indicates that there is a finite risk of a future volcanic event occurring during the 10,000-year isolation period of a potential repository. Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The risk of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Future volcanic events cannot be predicted with certainty but instead are estimated using formal methods of probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment (PVHA). Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The distribution, eruptive history, and geochronology of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers are described by individual center emphasizing the younger postcaldera basalt (<5 Ma). The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detail because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. The age of the Lathrop Wells center is now confidently determined to be about 75 thousand years old. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. The Crater Flat volcanic zone is defined and described as one of many alternative models of the structural controls of the distribution of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers in the YMR. Geophysical data are described for the YMR and are used as an aid to understand the distribution of basaltic volcanic centers. Chapter 4 discusses the petrologic and geochemical features of basaltic volcanism in the YMR, the southern Great Basin and the Basin and Range province. Geochemical and isotopic data are presented for post-Miocene basalts of the Yucca Mountain region. Alternative petrogenetic models are assessed for the formation of the Lathrop Wells volcanic center. Based on geochemical data, basaltic ash in fault trenches near Yucca Mountain is shown to have originated from the Lathrop Wells center. Chapter 5 synthesizes eruptive and subsurface effects of basaltic volcanism on a potential repository and summarizes current concepts of the segregation, ascent, and eruption of basalt magma. Chapter 6 synthesizes current knowledge of the probability of disruption of a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. In 1996, an Expert Elicitation panel was convened by DOE that independently conducted PVHA for the Yucca Mountain site. Chapter 6 does not attempt to revise this PVHA; instead, it further examines the sensitivity of variables in PVHA. The approaches and results of PVHA by the expert judgment panel are evaluated and incorporated throughout this chapter. The disruption ratio (E2) is completely re-evaluated using simulation modeling that describes volcanic events based on the geometry of basaltic feeder dikes. New estimates of probability bounds are developed. These comparisons show that it is physically implausible for the probability of magmatic disruption of the Yucca Mountain site to be > than about 7 x 10{sup {minus}8} events yr{sup {minus}1} . Simple probability estimates are used to assess possible implications of not drilling aeromagnetic anomalies in the Amargosa Valley. The sensitivity of the disruption probability to the location of northeast boundaries of volcanic zones near the Yucca Mountain sit

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554 pages

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INIS; OSTI as DE00012111

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Dec 1998

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  • Report No.: LA-13478
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/12111 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 12111
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc622742

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  • December 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Sept. 25, 2017, 4:35 p.m.

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Crowe, Bruce M.; Perry, Frank V.; Valentine, Greg A. & Bowker, Lynn M. Volcanism Studies: Final Report for the Yucca Mountain Project, report, December 1, 1998; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc622742/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.